I went to Seattle last weekend. It was my friend’s stag – he likes beer – we drank beer, and then some whiskey.
We left Vancouver in the late morning and arrived in Mount Vernon for lunch at the Skagit River Brewery. I fell in love with Skagit River Brewing from the minute I stepped out of my friend’s truck – the entire area surrounding the brewery smells like BBQ – not that fake propane BBQ smell, it was real smokey barbecue goodness. I love BBQ and therefore love Skagit River Brewing. I discovered this brewery a few months ago while on my way home from a weekend in Leavenworth – it smelled like BBQ then as well. The beer was terrific, the pulled pork was beyond description and all was right in the world. But good things cannot last forever and we were forced to move on in pursuit of more beer.
The Elysian Brewing Company in Seattle’s Capitol Hill region was our next stop . My job was to navigate – I did not do a good job – Google Maps let me down – my friends laughed at me – we still found it. Elysian Brewing is incredible; their beer is flavorful, creative and fun to drink. Elysian Brewing is innovative while remaining true to beer’s four key ingredients: water, barley, hops and yeast. I have no problem with adjuncts – they use them all the time in Belgium and I’m sure they use them at Elysian from time to time. However, it is always impressive to see a brewer create a diverse selection of unique tasting beer without relying heavily on novelty ingredients such as coffee or pumpkin. If you ever happen to find yourself in Seattle, please stop at Elysian Brewing - their round of tasters is a very welcoming discovery.
Gordon Biersch was our dinner stop and I cannot say any of us were impressed. The beer was okay, the food was not great, the service was mediocre and the atmosphere was somewhat “stuffy”. This brewery did not capture the creative spirit that the other two brewpubs had. When I visit a brewpub I expect to find unique tasting beer imparted by the brewmasters personal style and simple yet tasty food. Their beer was not bad and they had a good selection of German lagers, but this is not a place I would recommend to a true beer lover. But It was not all bad, we at least were able to have fun with the word Biersch – it is a fun name to say, especially after a few drinks.
I had planned to visit the Pike Brewing Company to give their barley wine a try, but the evening had other plans for us. After parading my friend around Seattle in a tight fitting A.C. Slater style wrestling suit we ended up at a cowboy saloon and spent the rest of the night drinking bourbon whiskey until our throats became too hoarse carry on.
Beer is such a great way to send a good friend off into the world a marriage.